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African: Amabutho – Singers | UK

Amabutho are an all-male harmony choir whose members are all originally from South Africa.

Amabutho’s repertoire is called Imbube and Isicathamiya and is sung most prominently in Zulu. This art form originated from Southern African states who indulged in singing and dancing in the gold mine compounds around Johannesburg where they worked away from their homes and womenfolk.
As a result, during the 1920s choirs such as ‘Crocodile’ and ‘The Durban Evening Birds’ were founded.

These choirs’ influence spread like wild fire throughout all Southern African countries where there are communities with Zulu historical origins and connections.

The modern style of Imbube and Isicathamiya’s lyrics are about war, suffering, famine, love, happiness and Christianity.

Few groups have perfected this form of music and been promoted. However, Amabutho are also a force to reckon with – good to watch and brilliant to listen to.

Amabutho have sung in Wembley Stadium at the release celebrations for, and in front of, Nelson Mandela.

Standard Length of Performance:

2 x 45 min sets


”The event was a massive success! Amabutho were popular and made the walk exciting which is great.”
– Start Live

Repertoire Includes:

Sanibonani; greetings
Mzalawam; my cousin
Emaweni; the cave
isiqheqhedesam; my beautiful woman
Indiza mchini; Airoplane
Thekwane; the birds
Warrior Ipi ntombi

Photos of Amabutho